By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — The United Way of Wapello County is focused on creating long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of the problems affecting our community.
“We are focused on identifying the root causes and problems in our community and eliminating them,” President and CEO Desiree Johnson said.
One way they are helping to delete these problems is by raising their annual community giving campaign goal for this year to $750,000.
The campaign is focused on education, income and health in the community. It takes donations from area employee giving campaigns, corporations and residential campaigns and disperses the donations into funding for programs and initiatives that are already in place throughout the community.
Every year, their board of directors looks at their upcoming campaign and talks with local business leaders about the economic climate of the area. Then they come up with a goal that United Way should set for itself.
This year, the board wanted to make a goal that was very bold, Johnson explained. In 2009, United Way raised almost $700,000 in their community giving campaign, so setting the goal this year at $750,000 was a way for them to ensure they are getting more donations each year.
With the money raised in the previous year, United Way is helping to provide funding for over 37 different programs at over $500,000. Every donation is accepted, and every dollar raised is a way to help those in need.
“Any donation, no matter how big or how small, helps,” Johnson said. “Then we are able to make significant contributions to the community.”